Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr: Rivals to fight again in Manchester on 17 June

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Chris Eubank Jr is punched on the chin by Liam Smith

Liam Smith will fight Chris Eubank Jr in a rematch on 17 June at the Manchester Arena.

Liverpudlian Smith, 34, beat Eubank in January via fourth-round stoppage in a bitterly-contested middleweight fight.

Eubank, 33, sought revenge and activated the rematch clause shortly after the third loss of his career.

The co-main event is expected to be Briton Savannah Marshall against undisputed super-middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn.

Marshall, 31, has not fought since she lost her own grudge match against Claressa Shields in October, but has a second chance to become undisputed champion.

American Crews-Dezurn holds all four world titles in the division and the only defeat on the 35-year-old’s record is by Shields in 2016.

Smith and Eubank Jr resume hostilities

When the first bout between Eubank Jr and Smith was announced, few expected it to generate the attention it did.

But a bubbling rivalry exploded in fight week as both boxers hurled unsavoury jibes at each other in a bizarre Manchester news conference.

Eubank wore a rainbow armband at the weigh-in in response to homophobic taunts from Smith, sparking a conversation about boxing and its responsibility to create an inclusive sport.

Both men were fined by the British Boxing Board of Control for their behaviour.

The fight itself was explosive, as Smith produced a blistering performance to blow Eubank away in just four rounds. The display was another fantastic win for Smith, who has accumulated four stoppage wins in a row.

Eubank was at his preferred weight, while Smith had fought most of his career at light-middleweight.

The rematch seemed an obvious choice for both men after their profiles soared, but Conor Benn almost derailed plans.

Talks were held about rescheduling their abandoned fight in Abu Dhabi this summer, but the British Boxing Board of Control’s insistence they would not back Eubank fighting Benn in another country ultimately forced discussions to be abandoned.

And so Eubank returns to the scene of his worst defeat, aiming to resurrect a career that could be permanently ended by another win for the resurgent Smith.


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